The tea kettle whistles A moth flutters and dies Your mask shatters to pieces A madman explodes the moon A butterfly flaunts a human face You dream of a lion’s rest Birds in-choir in a priest’s robe You fire a revolver on the run
The key to the riddle — Masquerading as fun To the gibbering wags Deaf to the last gong’s sound — Hides like a promise In your broken heart
For image credit please click hereon Carrie’s Sunday Muse #245; Shay’s Word Garden Word List using three of twenty words; and Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #297 using “key” in prose or poem of 71 words.
I walked this life – lonely – Aware of shame – only – Chiding Your apathy – to me – I saw myself – painfully – alone.
In Your light I see – suddenly – Always You are – with me – Walking me home – lonely – Never having left me – painfully – alone.
Psalm 35:4-9 (NIV): Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
When I walk down the street with you it seems an avenue for the parvenu who glitter and mime like bees round a cru flush with cash, flush with dash, flush with boppity-boo.
I lean in, you lean out, you lean in, I lean out, a flamenco we do, even a samba no doubt while the white picket fences they shimmer and shout “Oh look who! Oh look who!” like old aunties with gout.
And I’m so gorgeous and you’re larger than life and if you’re honest, you’ll make me your wife; but this world is so public and with catastrophes rife its cerulean sky could change into a razor-sharp knife.
Would you stay with me, forever and a day when the zinnias of summer turn a wintry gray? When we walk beneath cottonwoods, will you turn and say, “I’m glad you and I chose to go another way”?
Continue reading “A Walk With You”→
“It was a stark surprise of loss,” she wrote, and then she stopped, her hand stilled on the backlit keys her eyes glued to the screen
where suddenly the lines misted, metamorphosed in rain, the world becoming watery, a deluge full of pain.
She wiped her cheeks, she rose, she paced, she spun about the room, though memories of a dream-like shore outran her pleas for peace.
Into her words she’d poured her heart, into the poems she wrote but from them she no longer found the comfort that she sought.
None came but one, a fiery flare that lit the distant sky as if it came in search of her, a foundling lost to claim.
“What joy is this, what Guest on high has chosen this black night, to show His love, to set alight my dark and stormy heart?”
She cried, and in her joy she found a new theme to set down by psalm-borne winds she softly sang of things divine, unseen.
Old and New Year Ditties by Christina Rossetti(1830-1894)
New Year met me somewhat sad: Old Year leaves me tired, Stripped of favourite things I had, Baulked of much desired: Yet farther on my road today God willing, farther on my way.
New Year coming on apace What have you to give me? Bring you scathe, or bring you grace, Face me with an honest face; You shall not deceive me: Be it good or ill, be it what you will, It needs shall help me on my road, My rugged way to heaven, please God.
Watch with me, men, women, and children dear, You whom I love, for whom I hope and fear, Watch with me this last vigil of the year. Some hug their business, some their pleasure scheme; Some seize the vacant hour to sleep or dream; Heart locked in heart some kneel and watch apart.
Watch with me, blessed spirits, who delight All thro’ the holy night to walk in white, Or take your ease after the long-drawn fight. I know not if they watch with me: I know They count this eve of resurrection slow, And cry, “How long?” with urgent utterance strong.
Watch with me, Jesus, in my loneliness: Tho’ others say me nay, yet say Thou yes; Tho’ others pass me by, stop Thou to bless. Yea, Thou dost stop with me this vigil night; Tonight of pain, tomorrow of delight: I, Love, am Thine; Thou, Lord my God, art mine.
Passing away, saith the World, passing away: Chances, beauty and youth sapped day by day: Thy life never continueth in one stay. Is the eye waxen dim, is the dark hair changing to grey That hath won neither laurel nor bay? I shall clothe myself in Spring and bud in May: Thou, root-stricken, shalt not rebuild thy decay On my bosom for aye. Then I answered: Yea.
Passing away, saith my Soul, passing away: With its burden of fear and hope, of labour and play; Hearken what the past doth witness and say: Rust in thy gold, a moth is in thine array, A canker is in thy bud, thy leaf must decay. At midnight, at cockcrow, at morning, one certain day Lo the bridegroom shall come and shall not delay: Watch thou and pray. Then I answered: Yea.
Passing away, saith my God, passing away: Winter passeth after the long delay: New grapes on the vine, new figs on the tender spray, Turtle calleth turtle in Heaven’s May. Tho’ I tarry, wait for Me, trust Me, watch and pray. Arise, come away, night is past and lo it is day, My love, My sister, My spouse, thou shalt hear Me say. Then I answered: Yea.
This poem was originally published in Goblin Market and Other Poems (Macmillan, 1862) and appears in The Complete Poems by Christina Rossetti (Penguin, 2001). It is in the public domain.
I wrote the top poem in honor of Christina Rossetti whose poetry stirs readers and poets alike with their psalm-like appeal, as “Old and New Year Ditties,” on the cusp of a new year. Join us at Denise’sSix Sentence Story (using prompt word “surprise”). To my blog visitors, have a Happy New Year, one full of love and peace.
of reindeer snow of red-nosed glow from snowball throw
aimed happy crazy on mouth soft and saucy and your eyes that melt me
gleam a Southern summertime of delicious crime as time spins on a dime.
A recipe for Peanut Butter Snowballs (pictured above) is here.Of course the earliest reference to peanut butter can be traced back to the Aztecs who would not have been acquainted with snow. Written for dVerse’s Quadrille (44 words, “candy”).
I unravel from my winding sheet for that is what it is, this flesh which harbors my soul in the same way my soul embraced the flesh in its wanderings like Ulysses aboard his black ships.
As I do, I spy my body at a slowly retreating distance, see its supine figure like a sculpture by Rodin, no, strike that, more like a painting by Caravaggio, the one of Paul struck down on his way to Damascus, every strained muscle in his body and lineament of his face expressing brute confrontation with Truth.
Yes, I capitalized it, or Him, Truth, a living Being, the source and embodiment of the absolute by virtue of His aseity and omnipotence, against whom I thought I could compete with my own truth, small case, t-r-u-t-h, to my own demise when I took up arms against any who would tell me not to heed the siren’s call, or the call of that master rhetorician Ulysses, alive in every age, in every town, in every social circle, school, temple or townhall, the sly, polished poet, a borrower or thief with pockets full of gold who says, “Let’s see what’s out there, so much to see, so much to experience, and oh, the things we’ll learn as we range unanchored to any known shore, pushing that thin envelope of body and spirit to the limit!”
He offered what we all yearn for, knowledge of the world, a wisdom that ordinary people (how we despise them!) in their ordinary little lives could never hope to find, when there’s a world of pure epicurean adventure led by your captain, my captain, let’s call him Ulysses.
I was twenty-nine, hardly naïve, yet naïve as a voter with a politician spinning promises, and so I left my home and went with him, my Ulysses, as ready as he with wit to parley at every Areopagus, eager to hear or spin every newfangled tale ever told, see every exotic sight to behold, by plane, by train, oh, the places to go, to experience every esoteric fad and sensation, and everywhere the dawn rose to the rooster’s call of Carpe diem and the night fell on the cries to transgress, transgress, every boundary, every limit, until my soul gave way from its moorings at the realization that I had gained nothing but lost everything.
Soon I’ll leave for Charon’s Ferry and I wish now – too late — for just one more voyage: a voyage I’ll never know.
Denise's Six Sentence Story Word Promptis "range" so naturally my thoughts flew to that free-ranging (anti-)hero Ulysses and his place in Canto 26 of Dante's Inferno, Commedia.
Canto 26 is one of my favorite cantos in the Inferno, so much being said here by Dante, revealing how much he too is tempted by the same passion as Ulysses whose supple philosophical genius and rhetorical skills are used to deceive the Trojans and ultimately lead to the doom of his own men as he leaves Ithaca, his home. They sail beyond the gates of Hercules where he and his men spy Mount Purgatory before “a whirlwind rose and hammered” at their ships sending them plunging beneath the ocean waves.
What can be made of a poem which solely uses the last lines of other poems? Today’s dVerse challenge prompts us to construct just such a poem (or hodge podge or call it what you will) and I was curious what would follow. So I used the last lines of the first twelve poems in Margaret Atwood’s latest book of poetry, Dearly, (without alteration, only enjambment and lower-case) and this is what I got. Make of it what you will, but it goes to show that there is a resonance in words that builds on the generosity of a poem’s ambiguity and particularly the reader’s generosity as well. And such a cut-up technique plays on that to more or less affect.
Dear Reader, you decide.
An Experiment in Poetry (with apologies to Margaret Atwood)
not quite cursed if she smiles or cries
the candle guttering down I’ll give dry light
turn the key. Bar the window let there be plot
why can’t I let her go? isn’t it pretty, back there?
as Heaven always is, if you read the texts closely
This long November day unravels, filaments of self unthreaded spin in disarray seek a coalescing glance from Thee, my soul’s desire.
This long November night defeats, malingers yesterdays that moon in shallow doorways guilt-shadowed, hammering refrains that only Thy voice can silence.
Hasten to send Thou, Oh Lord, Thy Word, Thy Light by day, by night, my sight unblind, my thought overspread, unroll yard by yard Thy seeded spring in frozen heart by Thy Spirit’s warmth.
And then shall November night become as day, November day as night unfurled in Thy blanketing love, and like a traveler who spies a bridge o’er torrents harsh, I’ll race to cross encircling time, and so abide in Thee.
I don’t believe in you, don’t freak out, god(s), or demi-gods, or goddess, lol, you’re just words to me, like psy cho lo gy, (read it, it’s in a book) of wanting things I can’t have, help when I need it a step up, a step down a shout out, a call down, but I’m too smart for you I’ve got all I need in me, don’t fool yourself that I’m praying when I’m posing and rit- ual- izing,
It’s Halloween night alright, sit tight the ghouls are out don’t scream, don’t shout what’s under your bed it’s scary, but it’s dead just crawled onto your hand this terror I can’t stand the witching hour’s here and the night’s full of fear
The eve of Hallowe’en a bird was freed: it wasn’t meant to be; it had been tied to the end of a string designed by devilry. But up it flew o’er a bubbling brew into the boughs of a tree.
“Where goes that bird?” Judge Holden cried cursing all wizardry; for its escape was not foreseen by those of his company. “It’s singing loud o’er field and town” said a blackhearted mercenary.
“Then all our lies will be undone, and all our schemes they’ll see!” “Not all, Judge Holden,” a satyr croaked, “the bird silenced will be, when stirring this cauldron of discontent, to you they’ll bow their knee.”
The bird had heard the words they said as it flew o’erhead happily; this people’s fate lay not in mortal hands but in truth that would set them free. So it louder sang, and it never feared Judge Holden and his mercenaries.
So if you were to ask me what’s on my mind today as I write, I’d have to say Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy’s fifth novel. I’ve read two other of his novels, The Road and Child of God, and just this past Tuesday after a sixteen-year hiatus, his newest novel, The Passenger was released (to be read). He has a lot to say against the backdrop of the Bible,human history, Western literature, and it’s all about the human heart, the worst of it, the meager remnants of conscience in preserving “civilization,” the struggle against Evil. It’s no mystery why Blood Meridian has been compared to Melville’s Moby Dick.There’s no call to be smug about being just human.And the shame only comes when we ignore the divine, the image of God in each of us.
you say, everything’s not black and white, drawing white shades over black night in a ghost town where folks walk on tight- ropes past the presidio’s edge, swallowing fright.
you say, there are safety nets, nobody gets hurt not even ones on the highest wires lose their shirt c’mon, a little dunk in a cesspool as you hit the dirt, an umbrella in case of rain, keep your poise, insert
So I took a trip down Jack O’Lantern Lane Where skeletons and ghosts were raising Cain The crows they cawed The mockingbirds squawked And the treetops flared like a fire engine.
So I ran back home to ink an angry complaint Against shuffling monsters that make one faint But I tripped over boxes Left by masquerade foxes And I cursed like the dickens cuz a saint I ain’t.
So then I opened my eyes, took in the wide blue skies And I laughed at the beauty that around me lies The anthem of the trees As they sang in the breeze And I thanked the Lord with my heartfelt sighs.
As if by magic my anger disappeared and the doorbell rang And I rose from my chair with a clatter and a bang See, I had my nutty nurse costume on A green glowing needle and a wig of blonde I was going trick or treatin’ with my neighborhood gang.
Threads torn from a silk tapestry a nightingale on branch of tree
Belong in other songs and rhymes Of emperors with preternatural pastimes.
I pick my threads from a homespun quilt Of gospel truth that frees from guilt.
It tells of One who died and rose To save from sins and lies expose.
It warns that wealth hoarded in greed Should be shared with those in need.
Here I sit under branch and sky Little to my name, just this tune to ply.
At the end of my days, I’ve nothing to grieve: it’s better to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35 NIV [Paul said,] “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”